This early self-portrait, in Van Dyck costume, is one of Wright's earliest surviving works produced when the artist would have been between 19 and 22 years old.
Self-portrait of Joseph Wright of Derby by Joseph Wright of Derby, c. 17531754
© Derby Museum and Art Gallery
- Oil on canvas
- 76 x 64 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £3,000 ( Total: £23,481; Tax remission)
- Acquired in:
- Leger Galleries
While the costume and conscious elegance of the pose reveal an awareness of established tradition, the expression conveys a sense of cool detachment and distance that separate the artist from the spectator and confirm his role as observer of nature. The clarity with which Wright rendered his own facial features in this early self-portrait was characteristic of the finest work of his career, the scientific paintings of the 1760s.